Why a beefy steering box versus hydro assist? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 136 Old 03-28-2017, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Why a beefy steering box versus hydro assist?

Hey gang... looking to be convinced on the stronger steering box options.

Can someone clue me in as to why a stronger steering box might be a better option to a ported stock box with hydro assist - on a "rock crawler" rig?

While having both might be the best option, that is not what I am asking. And I am leaving names out of this to make this a generic question.

It seems that for folks who play on rock in high traction situations where you get wedged between boulders might be better served by distributing the load across the steering linkage whether you do this in conjunction with the stock box or a beefier box.

FWIW, I am on 37s and plan to keep it that way.
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post #2 of 136 Old 03-28-2017, 01:09 PM
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The only possible advantage a bigger box might have (that I can think of at least) would be retaining more of the stock on road steering feel and manners... while still getting some steering help on the rocks. Hydro Assist can sometimes be a little twitchy on road.

Hydro Assist makes the need for a bigger box moot, so not so sure there would really be any advantage to running both.
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post #3 of 136 Old 03-28-2017, 01:33 PM
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Bigger box will support 35s/37s for less than 1/2 the cost of hydro assist, hydro assist 37s on up ....
Bigger box has a bigger sector shaft/more strength

Although Mel Wade from OffRoad Evolution has been running the XD box with 40s, and no stabilizer...

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post #4 of 136 Old 03-28-2017, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertcrav View Post
Bigger box will support 35s/37s for less than 1/2 the cost of hydro assist, hydro assist 37s on up ....
Bigger box has a bigger sector shaft/more strength

Although Mel Wade from OffRoad Evolution has been running the XD box with 40s, and no stabilizer...
https://youtu.be/YuoBPNBdizQ

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Lol i have less than $300 in my hydro assist and box rebuild, try again.


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post #5 of 136 Old 03-28-2017, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ChuckTheRipper View Post
Lol i have less than $300 in my hydro assist and box rebuild, try again.


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Good for you...

Guess I should have stated retail cost...

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post #6 of 136 Old 03-28-2017, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by robertcrav View Post
Good for you...

Guess I should have stated retail cost...

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Redneck ram kit is like $500 and it would crush that box
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post #7 of 136 Old 03-28-2017, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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in my case, I am willing to try the difference in feel that assist brings on the road in order to get better results on the rocks. I have been in situations where a trail guide has been calling "hard right" or "hard left" and I have been doing more like a star trek: "I'm given 'er all sh's got, cap'm" and feeling stuck in terms of steering. It is just not clear if a more stout box would get me through that much better than a stock box. Okay - there is the less risk of breaking but I am suggesting that you might still be wedged without the assist.

I wonder if the decision here is between say rock crawlers and more street driven / expedition driving?

Again... not trying to diminish any options here. Just want to better understand why one would choose hydro assist vs a more stout steering box or both. Is both even worthwhile?
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post #8 of 136 Old 03-28-2017, 04:29 PM
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because a hydraulic piston is better than a mechanical shaft turning a pitman arm.

with ram assist power is put into the steering through the piston directly. aside from hydraulic hoses, there is no "weak" link between the drivers input and the power that is put out.

with a strong steering box. from the driver it goes into the box, into the sector shaft, into the draglink.

potential point of issue could be the frame rail where the box is mounted to to the draglink. if that steering box can turn 40's standing still, there is a lot of power in it that could also rip itself off a frame rail.

did hydro assist and never turned back.

yes i may have spent more on my PSC (although there are much cheaper setups), but i have no doubt of its reliability and i know i can steer with confidence.

if my ram were to ever overpower my steering components, the only potential breaks would be from the tie-rod and out.

if you get a steering box that ever overpowered your components, you can have a mess and a half on your hands
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post #9 of 136 Old 03-28-2017, 05:44 PM
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Since your only talking about running 37s, I would just do the redneck ram w/ a sector shaft brace on the box for insurance.

Ive been running a PSC box (non big bore) with a redneck ram and sector shaft brace for years turning 40s in the rocks, no worries.... Its also nice on the hwy at hwy speeds not too touch, just reactive like you would expect a high dollar setup to be!
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post #10 of 136 Old 03-28-2017, 07:30 PM
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There's a 7 page thread on this a little ways down:


https://www.jkowners.com/forum/modifi...g-gearbox.html

What's been said so far is about all we know. Still waiting for some user feedback on the new steering box. The members who have installed it so far have had good results with 37's on street and mild trails but we haven't had any rock crawling reports yet.

The gist of it is hydro assist will be stronger to push big tires and its also more complicated to install and potentially more issues. I'm debating between the 2 for the last 2 months and still not sure which way to go, lol
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post #11 of 136 Old 03-28-2017, 07:45 PM
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It's literally a no brainer. Hydro assist has been the go-to for ages, because it works. It really is THAT simple.


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post #12 of 136 Old 03-28-2017, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckTheRipper View Post
It's literally a no brainer. Hydro assist has been the go-to for ages, because it works. It really is THAT simple.


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I think alot of people look too much into it. They read the "horror stories" of someone's best friend's second uncle's next door neighbor doing it and he sneezed on the highway doing 65 and flipped his Jeep 23 times.

I won't lie. I did all the research and asked people who had it what size ram they had and anything else I could think of what the road manors were like. They all have it, they are all still alive and no one regrets it.

I'm running 37's and I'm going to do 1.5 redneck ram within the next month. Looking forward to it.

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post #13 of 136 Old 03-28-2017, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by White13JKUR View Post
in my case, I am willing to try the difference in feel that assist brings on the road . . .
1) Come over some time and drive my Jeep with hydro assist?

2) Rip it around while driving us to some classy joint like El Pollo Loco

3) Then (most likely ) move forward with hydro assist . . .




EDIT: that ^^^ offer is for White13JKUR.

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post #14 of 136 Old 03-28-2017, 08:55 PM
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[EDIT: ^ @ExWrench you never invite the rest of us over to drive your rig ]



I am also of the assisted route; I've mentioned on other threads but I busted my OEM box really oddly last year and finally just sprung for the PSC snout-equipped gearbox with the longer range, fiscally possible option being after control-arms and armor and driveshaft, the hydralic assist steering setup would be next,heh.

I think even if I had not bought a new steering gear that was tapped by PSC and this option had been out when I bought the rather expensive gearbox I still would have gone the route I did.


I am treading on ice,playing w/ fire, rollin' around w/ 4" grinders, et.al... what I mean is that I have it fortified -if temporarily- in a dangerous fashion & am treading cautiously while saving; during the interim, it's equipped with all of the Synergy Mfg TB brace and Sector Shaft kit( i'm sorry, if installed correctly and with everything else they have, say what you wnt & know I will continue to see this as viable solution, as long as you don't crawl vertical walls with your outter tires a bunch or smash sideways oppo from the draglink hard. It's only while you save for assist) but I have to hold back wheeling 100% and I cannot wait to upgrade to hydraulic assist this Fall.I am getting everything PSC to KISS and compatible. I know to get hoses elsewhere,fwiw. It'll be nice just to not worry about any steering and I don't drive on road enough to merit concern, really. I'll say this, as our JK/JKU tire sizes have been goin up we sure have seen more talk about steering gears and solutions. PSC sure "tapped-into' it's own user base with that box, didn't it? I mean who can blame 'em for doin' so if every JK is runnin' 40s and makin the steering gear go
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post #15 of 136 Old 03-28-2017, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckTheRipper View Post
Lol i have less than $300 in my hydro assist and box rebuild, try again.


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Same.


Well before I got a new pump.

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post #17 of 136 Old 03-28-2017, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ChuckTheRipper View Post
It's literally a no brainer. Hydro assist has been the go-to for ages, because it works. It really is THAT simple.


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The JK crowd has been pioneering dumb useless stuff since 2007.

Why truss, when you can sleeve? Why cage when you can bolt on some bullshit?

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post #18 of 136 Old 03-28-2017, 09:32 PM
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The JK crowd has been pioneering dumb useless stuff since 2007.

Why truss, when you can sleeve? Why cage when you can bolt on some bullshit?
This is exactly what I was thinking. Companies have seen that JK owners will buy anything no matter the cost. The box is definitely cool but then I remember hydro assist is around and then it becomes silly.
Hydro assist is not that difficult or weird to drive on the street at all. I have had it on multiple rigs and never really thought too much about it. I had an 88 1 ton 4runner with full hydro that I used to drive around town for the hell of it that wasn't even that bad. It had 43" tires with steel beadlocks and I never felt like I was gonna die. Lol (Don't bother coming at me with how I was gonna kill a school bus of kids either).

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post #19 of 136 Old 03-28-2017, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by j3ff3ry_j33p View Post
[EDIT: ^ @ExWrench you never invite the rest of us over to drive your rig ]
Fuck it, come on over if you wanna' drive my Jeep, j3ff3ry

It's only 2300 miles.


EDIT: if my box was shithoused, I'd most likely replace with the PSC because it's way better than the factory ChiBox.
However, since I ported my box and added a ram, pump, filter, and cooler, I expect my box to "never" fail.

EDIT2: my steering box will now fail in some weird way since I jinxed it by saying it wouldn't
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post #20 of 136 Old 03-29-2017, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExWrench View Post
1) Come over some time and drive my Jeep with hydro assist?

2) Rip it around while driving us to some classy joint like El Pollo Loco

3) Then (most likely ) move forward with hydro assist . . .




EDIT: that ^^^ offer is for White13JKUR.
I already have a ported box and a 1.5" ram. Just never got around to getting the ram bits welded on. I want to replace the front axle anyway so have been holding off on it for that reason as well.

A beefier box had always been on my mind anyway. There was that one company that made a box and had a bad reputation for burning folks.

Need that Subaru overclocked? When I visit that Subaru place, I get to park my jeep in the middle of the shop and leave the keys in it. The techs dig the Aquamist system.
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post #21 of 136 Old 03-29-2017, 05:11 AM
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My rig sees about 18k miles a year on the road with hydro assist. It's the best driving offroad rig I have ever owned. If the pump matches up with the ram hydro assist is not a liability on the road and if anything makes it more street friendly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by White13JKUR View Post
in my case, I am willing to try the difference in feel that assist brings on the road in order to get better results on the rocks. I have been in situations where a trail guide has been calling "hard right" or "hard left" and I have been doing more like a star trek: "I'm given 'er all sh's got, cap'm" and feeling stuck in terms of steering. It is just not clear if a more stout box would get me through that much better than a stock box. Okay - there is the less risk of breaking but I am suggesting that you might still be wedged without the assist.

I wonder if the decision here is between say rock crawlers and more street driven / expedition driving?

Again... not trying to diminish any options here. Just want to better understand why one would choose hydro assist vs a more stout steering box or both. Is both even worthwhile?
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post #22 of 136 Old 03-29-2017, 05:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExWrench View Post
Fuck it, come on over if you wanna' drive my Jeep, j3ff3ry

It's only 2300 miles.


EDIT: if my box was shithoused, I'd most likely replace with the PSC because it's way better than the factory ChiBox.
However, since I ported my box and added a ram, pump, filter, and cooler, I expect my box to "never" fail.

EDIT2: my steering box will now fail in some weird way since I jinxed it by saying it wouldn't
ive got a case of redbull red , four fifths of 4Roses , a bag of smoke , LedZeppelin live on BBC and Chuck Berry box set and a box of KrispeyKremes .
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Heh. I know you'd be cool w/ it. Just bustin chops, bud.

@kjeeper10 , I think for your setup and use the bigger box is a better fit . You aren't out trying to follow truggies over stuff that is wet and gooseshit slick even during droughts in summer or mud-boulder-crackinlimestone-mud transitions as much as where i go so it'll probably be perfect. I dint say it wasn't viable but I have a little grudge -personally & didn't wanna air in public - that I talked to PSC about 3 months or less from this being announced for JKs and if I'm investing as much as I did and am gonna , they could have just hinted at a JK specific solution forthcoming and maybe I want to wait 8-12 weeks ? That's all. No dissin your new beefy steering box ! Then, to have me decide to go the assist route, that'd be pointless it just felt less than customer oriented but that might be presumptive on my behalf...the tech maybe didn't know about the new box coming out at that time , who knows ...

See how that was a shitload to explain ?


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post #23 of 136 Old 03-29-2017, 05:32 AM
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100% honesty, the biggest reason i did hydro was because of on-road driving. 99% of my mods are done from anger buys. I was tired of steering wheel shimmys and all that shit so i said fuck it and ordered the ram and rebuild kit, went and had some hoses made, grabbed a cheap filter, pulled the box n tapped it, cut some tabs with a grinder and welded the thing on. That's it.I still have to add a cooler for shits sake but i haven't felt the real need for it.


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post #24 of 136 Old 03-29-2017, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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ive got a case of redbull red , four fifths of 4Roses , a bag of smoke , LedZeppelin live on BBC and Chuck Berry box set and a box of KrispeyKremes .
I'm on my way : jeep2:
Leave the weed, take the cannoli. After all, you're Going to California. If you want to smoke your stuff and drink all your wine, you can get all that here. And some granite.
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post #25 of 136 Old 03-29-2017, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckTheRipper View Post
100% honesty, the biggest reason i did hydro was because of on-road driving. 99% of my mods are done from anger buys. I was tired of steering wheel shimmys and all that shit so i said fuck it and ordered the ram and rebuild kit, went and had some hoses made, grabbed a cheap filter, pulled the box n tapped it, cut some tabs with a grinder and welded the thing on. That's it.I still have to add a cooler for shits sake but i haven't felt the real need for it.


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Reminds me of a friend. Always buying something to fix a issue, loves it for day and back to complaining about something. Hes swapped so much shit chasing the perfect ride its sicking LOL
he recently swapped assist over to the new box and im waiting for him to start bitching again. So far nothing .. nothing but positives.



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